HEADLINES

ST.JOHNS: Body found near The Moorings could be St John resident Richard Benson – Benson’s ex-wife announced his death on GoFundMe but police said body not positively identified yet

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ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI (Virgin Islands News Online) — When this news site had reported on September 23, 2017 that the body of a man found near The Moorings in Wickham’s Cay II, Tortola, the day after Hurricane Irma struck the Virgin Islands (VI), was yet to be identified, persons had suggested that it could be that of US Virgin Islands (USVI) boat captain, Richard Benson.
Persons had made the suggestion on the basis that Benson was missing in the USVI and the description given by police matched his’.
And Benson’s ex-wife, Linda Worthington, has since set up a GoFundMe page where she announced her father’s death.
Worthington wrote on the GoFundMe page last week that her father had been missing from St John since the Category 5 Hurricane Irma, and his body has been found in the [British] Virgin Islands.
‘Red tape’
“The family needs help in travel expenses to get to St John to make his final arrangements. Richard’s body was found in the British Virgin Islands and we have a ton of red tape and paperwork to complete before we can even transfer him back to US soil. I am Richard’s ex-wife and I am helping our son, Daniel and his sisters with this horrific job.”
Worthington also wrote that it is his family’s wish that his remains be cremated and his ashes returned to the sea that he loved so dearly. “Please find it in your hearts to help his children to lay his soul to rest. His sailboat, the Goddess Athena, remains missing.”
The post; however, did not say when Benson was found or where, specifically, he was located.
Our newsroom made contact with the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) on October 3, 2017 but was told that the body was yet to be identified.
Benson was a seasoned seaman & mentor
And according to the Virgin Islands Daily News, Facebook tributes to Benson described him as a seasoned seaman and mentor to younger sailors who was beloved by fellow St Johnians and the tourists who chartered trips with him.
Benson’s family is crowdfunding because “the family needs help in travel expenses to get to St John to make his final arrangements,” according to Worthington’s post. His remains will be cremated and his ashes “returned to the sea that he loved so dearly.”
As of Friday evening, the page had collected $11, 275 of a $20,000 goal since it had been uploaded five days ago, and Worthington wrote that any money not used for family expenses will go to St John recovery efforts.
Posts on Facebook indicated that Benson may have been trying to sail south to escape Irma, but wasn’t able to beat the storm.

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